The Sport of Golf by Ford Gurley

The Fundamentals of the Golf swing

The golf swing is so complicated yet so simple. I think that is the key to golfing in general, is to simplify the game. I teach my students based on their faults as every one is different and has a different swing - however - they are all reaching to achieve the same goals. The fundamentals in golf are the most important part of the game, and something you will find yourself coming back to almost every time you begin to struggle on the course. Before we begin you must understand the parts of the full swing.

  1. Backswing
  2. Top of swing
  3. Transition
  4. Downswing
  5. Release/impact/exit

Now that you are familiar with the parts of a full swing we can do into detail on each how to attain the proper golf swing, or to the best of your ability.


The backswing is the first part of the full swing, and one of the most important as it sets you up and has a direct correlation with the downswing. There are many many faults I see in peoples' backswing that sets them up for failure. It is important that you stay connected, because the golf swing is a sequence, if something becomes disconnected the sequence falls apart and you will have to compensate, which generally results in bad contact, etc.

Top of Swing

The top of the swing is also a crucial factor that automatically plays a role in your downswing. Just like your backswing, it is crucial to get the club and hands in a good spot at the top. The ideal spot for your hands to be at the top of your swing is over the heels of your feet, like so.


The transition is one of the most overlooked parts of the golf swing, and usually the part that I see the most issues with in amateur golfers. When in transition, many golfers pull their arms down thinking that this is how they can hit the ball harder and farther, when in reality it is just hurting you. One of the best "feels" I have heard and felt myself in transition is to feel like you are leaving your arms behind your body, while your hips/pevlis and chest rotate towards the target. This is how you create speed and proper rotation allowing you to strike the ball better than ever before.


The downswing is probably the most important part of the swing because this is the move you make just before you hit the ball, any errors in this part and you're probably not going to like where your ball goes. The proper downswing starts after the player has transitioned their weight forward and rotated, giving them the opportunity to slot the club and release while keeping the face square. The downswing is where you get speed, the backswing can be much slower.


The release is one of the harder parts of the swing for some, but easier for others. Think of whipping a towel, how you release your wrists and that towel snaps. It is the same in golf, at the bottom, you release the club head firing it into the back of the ball. Impact position should be: Hips and chest facing the target, hands over your lead foot. The exit should be the club face facing your body. The ideal spot to see the club post impact is coming through your back/shoulder. This means you've kept the club on a good plane.

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